Captain James Cook Essay, Research Paper
Captain James Cook
Captain James Cook was born in Marton-in-Cleveland, near Yorkshire,
England. He was born on October 27, 1728. In 1759, after the fall of Quebec, Cook
became master of the flagship “Northumberland.” He had had previous experience in
this as an apprentice at a shipowners called The Walker Brothers. He attracted the
attention of the Royal Society by calculating the longitude of Newfoundland. He also
observed solar eclipses to discover things like this.
First Voyage: Cook was made a first lieutenant and appointed commander of
an expedition to Tahiti in 1768. He was under orders by the Royal Society to observe
the transit of Venus between the earth and the sun. He was also to go on a secret
mission to discover new lands between New Zealand and Chile. He left on August 26,
1768, on a boat called “The Endeavour.” Cook watched the passage of Venus across
the disk in June, 1769. He sailed around New Zealand and explored the coasts there.
He finally reached the yet unexplored land of Australia on April 20, 1770. He named
the new land New South Wales. He studied plants there. He was almost stranded
when they encountered coral, but they repaired the boats and survived. On August 23,
1770 he claimed possession of the east coast of Australia. He returned to England in
Second Voyage: On his second voyage, Cook left on July 13, 1772, on a
ship named Resolution. He crossed the Antarctic circle in January, 1773. In May, 1774,
they went to Tahiti to get away from the cold and get supplies. He was supposed to
rendezvous with the Adventure at the end of October, but missed it. Cook kept his
going for his search of a southern continent. On October, 1774, he discovered New
Caledonia and Norfolk Island. He then sailed at high latitudes in the South Pacific. He
returned to England in July 1775.
Third and Final Voyage: He set out on July 1776 for his last voyage (he was
on the Pacific.) The ship he sailed on was called Discovery. They had visited Tahiti,
New Zealand, and Tonga by December 1777. In 1778 he discovered the Hawaiian
Islands. He then sailed through the Bering Strait and into the Arctic. He then went back
to the Hawaiian, the Natives killed him on February 14, 1779. He was killed because
he thought someone stole his boat. He was buried at sea.
He was a great mapmaker and explorer, and has discovered some of our
islands today. The natives did not like him because of his character, so they stole his
boat. Even though he was killed he still did a lot of good things for us.